I’ll write more in-depth about this later, but for now, here are some of the pictures from my 2018 show, This Is Not The Moon. Twenty-four of my mixed media works of art– original ink drawings, photocopies, paint and canvas– are all on display this month at Scribbles Coffee Co. in Kent, Ohio. Come check it out!
The original canvas works are for sale, and I’m taking pre-orders now for t-shirts ($18), sweatshirts and baby rompers ($22), and gloss poster prints ($15). Not going to do giclee prints this time around.
The original ink drawings were all done in a single sitting, usually from one to three hours. With each drawing I first created a contained space– a closed shape invented by connecting dots I spattered around my sketchbook at random with straight, curved, or jagged lines. The contained shape held smaller shapes, smaller worlds, and in each world I’d let loose a different daydream
This series was a lot of fun! It was process-oriented, and I’m starting to finally feel like I’m beginning to click into a style. While I didn’t intend to explore specific themes, there are definitely recurring motifs and images. There’s something in there, something that wants to be evoked in a way that defies language. And yet, even these evocations can live peaceably in the environments that are theirs alone.
There is something here– something about man made structures versus nature, something about the joy of solitary places and the inevitability of co-habitation, of communion with others. How can we keep our spaces in ways that are harmonious with others? Will cacophony and conflict always break out? Does unity always become homogeneity over time?
Or is there a medium between the two? Is there a means, a way of making shared, diverse spaces? Can we do this in our interior selves, with our intellectual observations, our daydreams, our nightmares?
Can we make a blueprint for spaces like this in real life?
And there must always be outside space. “Negative space.” Emptiness, openness, in-between-ness. So we can grow. Or, so we can be still.
In my initial vision for the show, each piece was paired with an original poem titled after an hour of the day (“one a.m.”, for example). And the a.m. and p.m. of each hour was also tied to a specific poetic format– for example, one a.m. and one p.m. are odes; seven a.m. and seven p.m. are acrostic poems.
But, while I did finish the twenty-four poem manuscript, I ultimately realized I didn’t have the means to print and display the poems in a way that made sense. Beyond that, the venue is strictly “safe-for-work,” so a few of the poems wouldn’t fit.
Ultimately, I ended up deciding to submit the art-and-poetry chapbook manuscript to several small and medium presses that could be a good fit, and leave the visual works in the gallery show sans textual interpretation or explanation.
The full title of the manuscript is, This Is Not The Moon : a twenty-four-hour poetry chapbook , which takes its title from the first poem in the book.
I think This Is Not The Moon still works as a title for the show. So often we try to figure out what something– or someone– is, and where they fit, by what they aren’t. What is my show? I’m not totally sure. But, we can strike “the moon” off the list.